Poyer: Let’s talk accessibility in Lagomarcino

Sarah Poyer

Editor’s Note: This piece is a part of the series “Let’s talk.”

Editor’s Note: The conditions listed here were present at the time of the author’s visit to the building. Lagomarcino currently has three working elevators, and the ADA ramp is no longer blocked by a dumpster. 

Two of my best friends are education majors. That means they are housed in Lagomarcino Hall here on campus. I have spent a lot of hours hanging out around Lago with my friends. Lago has a beautiful courtyard that has always been so fun to hangout and do homework in. 

Last week one of my friends, Courtney, was in a class and they started discussing how accessible Lago is. Courtney started telling me about all she learned during their walkthrough of the building. Then, Courtney took me to Lago and showed me the building. 

Although I had spent hours sitting in the courtyard studying, I had never actually been in the building, leaving me in the dark in terms of accessibility.

The first issue with accessibility in Lago is for nursing parents. There is not a nice nursing room, like there is in other halls on campus. If you have been in Carver, you can see the nursing room on your way to the women’s restroom. The nursing room is complete with multiple chairs, nice lighting, a sink and a spacious room. Lago does not have that; they have only a chair in a small room. I imagine this leaves nursing parents feeling very isolated in what is already an isolating time. Making the nursing room more comforting and welcoming is the first step to creating a more accessible Lago. 

Lago currently only has one working elevator. The building does have other elevators, but they are not in working order. Courtney was telling me how the elevators have been out of order for close to six months or so. That is an extremely long time to be without multiple working elevators. Obviously, we are living through a pandemic and so service times are bound to be slower, but it is making the building inaccessible. Lagomarcino is not accessible enough for those who may be in a wheelchair or using a cane, walker or any other mobility device and it’s very saddening. Elevators being in working order is a necessity. 

The building is multilevel, meaning accessibility is very important so students, faculty and staff can reach all levels of the building. Lago has many stairways, but as I stated earlier, there are not that many working elevators. The building also has a ramp outside, but it is currently being blocked by a dumpster. Blocking the ramp with a dumpster is a very inefficient way to allow your building to be accessible to those with disabilities.  

Our buildings on campus need to be accessible. Those with disabilities deserve the fairness to be able to attend classes just as everyone else. Making our building accessible to everyone should be the goal. Lagomarcino definitely has some work to do to become more accessible to all students, faculty and staff. Hopefully seeing some small changes would make a big impact on those who have to use the building on a daily basis. Small changes can make a big difference and would be life changing to many people who are currently housed in Lago. Everyone deserves the chance to be able to access their classes in a safe manner.